Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Pro Bowl is saved! I can safely look forward to wasting a Sunday night every year for years to come watching this spectacle of 75% effort.
1. There are many fans who eagerly anticipate their team's preseason games more than the Pro Bowl. I am sure there are those who barely differentiate the Pro Bowl from televised church service. I am not one of those people. I love the game and I always have, in all of its made-for-television glory. After all, it is possibly one of the greatest crossover episodes of our favorite series (the NFL), combining characters from all of our favorite casts. For those old enough to remember further back than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meets Power Rangers, it was great when Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days all combined for that fateful pilot episode of M & M. I loved when Fresh Prince of Bel Air's finale included members of the casts of Diff'rent Strokes and The Jeffersons. Seeing Two and a Half Men combine forces with the cast of CSI was also fun. You get the point, but watching Peyton Manning throw it to Andre Johnson, AJ Green or even JJ Watt is ten times more fun to watch in my opinion. I love seeing the mishmash of players from all over the league getting together for a pickup game.
2. While nobody is going to mistake what they see during the Pro Bowl for even a preseason scrimmage, there was still enough intensity in last night's affair to justify the commissioner keeping the game around. Thankfully, it did not resemble the nationally televised walk through that went down last year. Even though it was noteworthy and interesting to watch in its own right (I told you, I'm a junkie), there was no way the league was going to allow that kind of display to happen again.
3. As for last night, it occurred to me that anybody playing defense against Adrian Peterson should be prepared to hit and be hit. It also seemed like Peyton Manning was doing his best to inspire guys to give the effort and energy deserving of the history and future of the game. It occurred to me that neither of these men participated in the contest last year.
4. It seems that no matter the game, Ryan Kerrigan is going to play all or most of the available snaps. I was not keeping track, but unofficially, it appeared to me that he was out there from beginning to end. I guess when you are a rookie or second-year guy, you are going to take the lion's share of snaps while the veterans hang out on the sidelines with their kids, but I was sweating bullets watching Kerrigan run at ball carriers late in the game. Pro Bowls really have a way of making me realize how much I love a player--all based on how worried I am about them getting injured. Now that I play in year-round fantasy dynasty leagues, that feeling now extends to other players as well (don't worry, I still have a very strict no-Cowboys policy).
5. There was at least one good shot of Trent Williams on the sidelines that I thought I saw last night. You could see the bandage on his face and it looked pretty legit. By now, we have all heard the report that he was a victim in the "altercation" that kept him out of the game. I was relieved that he was not going to get hurt in the game itself, but jeez...taking a Champagne bottle to the head is not what I would consider an eventless week in Hawaii. It sounds like he was minding his own, but the thought of him being the victim in any kind of nightclub fight conjures very scary images. After all, consider the kind of person or persons that would be even remotely capable of turning Trent Williams into a victim of any kind of altercation.
6. During the telecast last night, I heard the NBC crew discuss the possibility that Ed Reed would be allowed to test the free agency waters. I know this story has been bubbling, but with Ray Lewis' retirement and the Super Bowl run the Ravens have made, it has kind of stayed a bit below the front page. He will be 35 years old at the start of next season, but will be very highly pursued by clubs, and rightfully so. I know of a team with some needs at safety...to put it mildly. In years past, there would be no way in hell a guy like Ed Reed would ever consider coming to the Redskins because of our inability to prove we can be a winner. It would seem that is no longer the case. Robert Griffin III (whew...wasn't sure I was going to be able to drop that name in this Sixpack!) is surely a draw. I think Peter King has floated New England as a possible suitor, but wait--wasn't it just Tom Brady that tried to put his cleat through Ed Reed's kidney? Point, Washington. Despite his years, Ed Reed would make our defense 100 times better immediately, and...I want him. I think what will make me laugh the hardest is if we sign Ed Reed and draft a starting safety to go along with him in either the 2nd or 3rd round--and Reed Doughty STILL ends up starting for us some how in September! Because you all know that no matter what, some series of events will transpire that will cause Reed Doughty to be out there in our defensive backfield in September.